The Importance of Repetition
Repetition is a crucial factor in children’s overall learning development. Through repetition, children can experience a sense of pride as they practise, improve and ultimately master new skills and have their successes celebrated. In the early years, repetition is key in building student’s sense of trust and belonging. Mini Maestros classes deliberately include repetition from week to week so that children know what to expect when they come to class and can rely on some familiarity each week. Adults can learn children’s activities quickly, but children need (and enjoy) repetition. Many children won’t join in until they are sure of what they have to do or what is expected of them. Repetition allows children to get to know different activities so that they feel confident to join in and have a go. Children need repetition to learn and to feel confident and safe in different situations.
We can also consider the benefits of repetition through a scientific lens. When children participate in new experiences or activities, new information is received and processed to make connections in the brain called ‘synapses’. When particular activities and experiences are repeated, these parts of the brain become stimulated more often and the synapses are strengthened. A child repeatedly exposed to beat, rhythm and musical experiences throughout the early years will develop a stronger sense of musical ability, whereas a child who is never nurtured through music will likely grow to have no sense of timing or musical ability, due to the synapses for that particular intelligence having never been developed. This process is called pruning, whereby a lack of stimulation causes certain brain functions to be lost (Davies, 2011). It is much harder to develop these synapses as children get older, therefore demonstrating why repetition in the early years is so formative in children’s overall music learning and development.
Davies, D. (2011) Child Development: A Practitioner's Guide, third edition.
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